Living on a Canal Boat
The beautiful boats on the canals are not all rental boats. Some of them are lived aboard by people on a permanent basis.
Narrowboats CAN be rented for a weekend, for a week or longer periods from various hire countries in different areas of the country. You can travel on canals over a large part of England and Wales - seeing the country from a different perspective.
Note the beautiful painted tinware on the cabin roof of the first boat.
Trying to compete with James Bond!
In october I had a meeting overhere. At that day a new system was introduced.
Next to that we had some activities, which they called James Bond Experience.
Things like: Hoovercrafting, Clay pigeon shooting, Quad driving, Bomb disarmement. Later in the evening they drove in a complete casino.
A very exciting meeting!
Pictorial tour of our hireboat
"Layout of the bow"
After we loaded stuff on the boat we explored it a little. We had free parking and fuel was included. They said we had 140 gallons of water and we should fill up every day (the toilets were fresh water flush from the boat water and not from the canal water). They also said the holding tank should be good for a week. We had a little boat- only 43 feet long and 6 ft 10 inches wide, but there was plenty of headroom (7 feet). At the bow, there were small seats on each side. The picture shows the bow of the boat with the folding doors, which can be folded shut and locked. Doors have shades. Inside on the port (right on this picture) is a hanging closet, and next to that is a bench with a cooler sitting on it and a window over it. There is a red hatch on the bow which gives access to stored equipment, and the water fill is there also (round fitting to the left). On top of the boat there is a boat hook and a mop in addition to the orange life preserver. There is a larger boat next to ours.
"Stern from inside"
Looking out onto the steering platform from inside of the boat. The throttle is on the green surface center right. There is a big step up to this area, and another big step up to the stern platform. The stern of our boat did not have a place to sit, nor did it have any protective railing to keep you from falling off the back. There was enough place for two people to stand provided the helmsman didn't need to move the tiller too far to the side. The bottom of the tiller (lashed to one side) is visible through the door. Everyone steered the boat except our grandson and me. Our grandson couldn't see over the top to steer. I know from previous experience that if I try tiller steering, I am totally unable to use a wheel to steer our boat for many moons. (Tiller steering and wheel steering are opposite.) So I said at the outset I would not steer. I also did not operate any locks.
"Inside aft section"
Shows more of the controls as they look from the tiller area. This includes the warning horn (which sometimes was actuated by accident), the rpm indicator, the key and various switches. Past the controls are a hanging area with a set of foulies (supplied with the boat) which we didn't need because we had excellent weather. They also supplied our grandson with a life preserver. One of the waste baskets is in this area. Two of the steps are visible, and their access ports (with finger holes). Bob's foot and his broom are also visible.
"Aft double bunk"
Shows the area right behind the red bulkhead in picture above. Our double bunk is in this area, just barely visible in the foreground. This fixed double was pretty narrow. Bob and I almost had space to lie flat next to each other without overlapping. The person next to the wall had to crawl over the other person to get up. Then was a sink and storage area, which was shut off by the door to the engine area and controls during the day when the door was open. The door can be slide-locked shut so that someone can't come in via the stern (or to shut out cold air), or can be hooked open on the edge of the sink. The cupboards over the sink have the exhaust pipe from the engine going through them which keeps it warm in there, and on the stern side there are shelves, and a mirror on the inside of the door. There are storage drawers under the bunk.
Shows the stove (gas), sink, which has pots stored under it, the refrigerator (under the sink counter) and shelves with dishes. There is also a waste basket in this area. Opposite this area is a dinette area where two people can sit. This area can be closed off from the bow and stern by hooking doors across the central passageway.
Shows the galley area from the other end of the boat - bow looking toward stern with our daughter standing at the sink. The edge of the little dinette table is behind her. There was a 3 ring notebook of instructions in case we forgot what we were supposed to be doing. This is where the manual of instructions lives - on the dinette table. Past the table are the windows with curtains which are across from the double bunk, and past that is the step up to the stern. On the right is the shower curtain for the shower stall.
Out of sight on the left is the head (toilet - fresh water flush) and on the right is the shower and sink. This whole area can be closed off by securing doors across the central passageway, or there is a door closing off the head separately which leaves the passageway open.
"Forward bunk and eating area"
Our daughter is sitting on one of the benches which pulls out to make a double (really bigger than a king) bed. Or there is a table which can be put up by inserting a post into the round fitting on the floor, and all 5 or 6 people can sit and eat. On the extreme right is a hanging area, and on the left the chain to close the blinds is visible.